Isn't a real gifted athlete, possesses very average range for the safety position in the deep half and isn't guy who has the type of closing speed to quickly range in the center field type role. Also is a bit stiff in his drop, struggles to really sit into his stance and it takes him a bit to redirect and get back up to speed quickly.
However, he displays coordinated footwork, keeps his feet under him in all areas of the game and has the ability to go get the ball. Showcases a good feel for the pass game, loves to keep his head in the backfield, read his pass keys and get early jumps on the football.
Is very effective when the play is in front of him. However, is forced at times to turn his back toward the play in order to get proper depth in coverage, snaps his head around quickly and locates the football well, but his athletic limitations show up on tape.
Isn't the most gifted of tacklers either. Has a solid frame and isn't afraid to throw his body around. However, isn't the most consistent of wrap-up guys both in space and a phone booth. Has a tendency to take poor angles, will struggle to routinely break down and can miss in space.
Also, near the line, doesn't consistently wrap on the play, has a tendency to simply throw his frame into contact, drops his head and doesn't always see what he hits, and does need to improve as a tackler.
Despite being a junior is an older prospect at 23 years old.
Impression: He isn't the most athletically gifted safety and needs to mature as a tackler, but he has good instincts, finds the football and knows how to make plays on the ball. Looks more like a special teams guy/reserve early in his career, but with some time could eventually fight for a starting role. Worst case a solid reserve."
Sash earned freshman All-American honors, starting 11 of 13 games in 2008, racking up 53 tackles, 2.5 for loss, five interceptions, six pass breakups, and a forced fumble. He followed with 85 tackles, 5.5 for loss and six interceptions in '09, garnering first-team All-Big Ten and various All-American notice. He was voted first-team all-conference by Big Ten coaches in 2010, even though his production dipped (75 tackles, 3.5 for loss, two interceptions, two pass break-ups).
His defensive coordinator, Norm Parker, called Sash "the luckiest guy I know" before the 2010 season. But sometimes, luck is born from preparation. The combination of hard work and athleticism should allow Sash to eventually work himself into a starting role for an NFL team. He can provide special teams help and a play as a reserve early in his career.
Read & React: Reads his keys to sniff out running plays and quick screens. Instinctive, flies through traffic to get to stretch plays or plug holes inside. Good range but at times can be a step slow to find a receiver coming into his zone. Overaggressive and will overrun plays.
Man Coverage: Good athleticism for his size, can trail most tight ends into the flat or on crossing routes. Gets his hands on tight ends in coverage, but could draw contact flags in the NFL. Fair backpedal for a safety, can handle slot responsibility for short periods of time against four-receiver sets.
Zone Coverage: Played in a lot of two-deep coverage. Quick enough to reach the sideline on long throws, has the coordination to high-point the ball or knock it away. Good hands to take advantage of overthrows over the middle. Gets pulled out of his area at times, leaving space for the trailing receiver. Bites hard on good play-action.
Closing/Recovery: Underrated speed and good angles allow him to track down backs from behind. Will be an effective blitzer playing around the line. Adequate recovery speed for a safety if beaten by receivers but will not catch many NFL receivers from behind.
Run Support: Always looking for run keys from two-deep position. Closes to the ball quickly, bringing bad intentions in flying to the ball on stretch plays. Fails to break down at times, overrunning the play and opening cutback lanes in the process. Fails to shed blocks to make plays, but has good strength to get off receiver blocks.
Tackling: Well-built upper body gives him excellent strength for the position. Goes for the big shoulder or forearm slam over the middle but still makes a grab for jersey to minimize yards after catch. Extends arms or lays strong shoulder hit to back heading out of bounds instead of merely escorting them. Can rip the ball out while wrapping. Effective cutting ballcarriers and making ankle tackles in the open field, though he should leave his feet less and keep his head up more often against NFL ballcarriers.
Intangibles: Vocal leader in the locker room. Puts in the time to prepare for next week's opponent. Demonstrative and talkative on the field. No known character concerns.
Positive: Tough, intelligent defensive back who constantly positions himself to make plays on the ball. Instinctive, effectively diagnoses the action, and chases hard to get involved in plays. Quick up the field defending running or screen plays, shows solid range out to the sidelines, and plays heads-up football. Breaks down well and works his hands.
Negative: Does not display a great burst of speed. Has marginal ball skills. Lacks the ability to immediately alter his angle of attack or change direction without losing momentum.
Analysis: Sash is a heady football player who consistently puts himself in proper position and never gets beat. He's also a limited athlete with average speed for the next level. Sash would be best in a system that uses him as a conventional strong safety or places him in a zone defense. He should be an asset on special teams."
Negatives: Looks a little stiff in the hips and slow in the backpedal, at his best in pass coverage when lining up deep and keeping the play in front of him... Coming off shoulder surgery, durability might be a minor concern... Not a unique athlete... Not a great man coverage defender, is best in deep zone coverage... Does not have the quickest feet, lacks fluidity when changing directions."
2010 Honors - - Third team all-America by Phil Steele's College Football . . . first team all-Big Ten by league coaches and media . . . first team all-Big Ten by Phil Steele's College Football . . . one of 10 semifinal candidates for 2010 Jim Thorpe Award . . . Hustle Team Award, Defense.
2010 Preseason Honors - - Named to preseason Watch Lists for Jim Thorpe Award, Lott Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy . . . first team all-America by Lindy's Football Preview and National Champs.net . . . second team all-America by Sporting News and The Kickoff . . . third team preseason all-America by College Football Insiders . . . first team all-Big Ten by Sporting News, Sports Illustrated and Blue Ribbon Yearbook . . . 2010 - - started all 13 games at strong safety . . . recorded third on team with 79 tackles, including 40 solo tackles and 39 assists . . . collected 3.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and two pass break-ups . . . started at strong safety in 37-7 opening win over Eastern Illinois as defense allowed just 157 yards total offense . . . recorded four assisted tackles in opening win . . . started at strong safety in 35-7 win over Iowa State . . . recorded one solo tackle, five assists and a pass break-up in win over ISU . . . started at strong safety in 34-27 loss at Arizona, recording four solo tackles and three assists . . . started at strong safety in 45-0 win over Ball State, recording two tackles and a pass break-up as defense allowed just 112 yards total offense . . . started at strong safety in 24-3 win over Penn State as defense allowed just 54 net rushing yards and 301 yards total offense . . . recorded two solo stops and four assists vs. Penn State, including a shared tackle for loss . . . started at strong safety in 38-28 win at Michigan . . . recorded seven tackles at Michigan, along with 36-yard interception that led to Iowa touchdown . . . also had 37-yard return of blocked field goal, that also led to Iowa touchdown . . . started at strong safety in 31-30 loss to Wisconsin . . . recorded career-high 13 tackles vs. Badgers, including five solo stops, eight assists and one tackle for loss . . . started at strong safety in 37-6 win over fifth-ranked Michigan State as defense allowed just 31 net rushing yards and 258 yards total offense . . . recorded three solo tackles vs. MSU . . . also had interception in first period, then pitched to teammate Micah Hyde, who raced 66 yards for touchdowns . . . started at strong safety in 18-13 win at Indiana as defense allowed just 91 net rushing yards . . . recorded three solo stops and three assists in win over Hoosiers . . . started at strong safety in 21-17 loss at Northwestern . . . recorded four solo tackles vs. Wildcats, including one tackle for loss . . . started at strong safety in 20-17 loss to Ohio State . . . recorded eight tackles vs. OSU, including six solo stops and two assists, to surpass 200 career tackles . . . started at strong safety in 27-24 loss at Minnesota . . . recorded four solo tackles and three assists at Minnesota . . . started at strong safety in 27-24 Insight Bowl win over 12th-ranked Missouri . . . recorded five solo tackles and one assist vs. Missouri, including one tackle for loss for minus nine yards.
2009 Honors - - Second team all-America by CollegeFootballNews.com and Phil Steele's College Football . . . third team all-America by the Associated Press . . . first team all-Big Ten by league coaches and media . . . first team all-Big Ten by Sporting News and Phil Steele's College Football . . . one of 12 semi-finalists for Jim Thorpe Award . . . Coaches Appreciation Award, Defense . . . named to cbssports.com Mid-Season all-America team . . . National Defensive Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Award committee vs. Iowa State and Indiana . . . Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week vs. Indiana.
2009 Pre-season Honors - - Named pre-season second team all-Big Ten by Phil Steele's College Football . . . 2009 - - Started all 13 games and has 21 consecutive starts among his 24 career starts . . . ranked third on team with 85 tackles, including 41 solo stops . . . led team with six interceptions for 203 yards and one touchdown . . . also had six pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and 5.5 tackles for loss . . . started at strong safety in 17-16 win over Northern Iowa . . . recorded 10 tackles vs. UNI, including three solo stops and seven assists . . . also shared a tackle for loss and had one pass break-up . . . started at strong safety in 35-3 win at Iowa State as defense collected six turnovers . . . tied Iowa school record with three pass interceptions at Iowa State, collecting 63 returns yards . . . also had 10 tackles, including two tackles for loss, and forced an ISU fumble . . . started at strong safety in saw action in 27-17 win over Arizona, but had no statistics as defense allowed 105 passing yards and 253 yards total offense . . . started at strong safety in 27-17 win over Arizona as defense allowed just 105 passing yards and 253 yards total offense . . . recorded five tackles (three solo, two assists) vs. Arizona, along with interception and 41-yard return that led to Iowa field goal . . . has collected seven interceptions in last five games . . . started at strong safety in 21-10 win at Penn State . . . recorded two solo tackles and three assists at PSU . . . started at strong safety in 24-21 win over Arkansas State as defense allowed just 80 net rushing yards . . . had eight tackles vs. ASU, including five solo stops . . . also had 1.5 tackles for loss and a pass interception and return of 13 yards that led to an Iowa touchdown . . . started at strong safety in 30-28 win over Michigan . . . recorded nine tackles vs. Wolverines, including four solo stops and five assisted tackles, along with two pass break-ups . . . started at strong safety in 20-10 win at Wisconsin at defense allowed just 87 rushing yards and 243 yards total offense . . . recorded five solo tackles vs. Badgers, including one tackle for loss . . . started at strong safety in 15-13 win at Michigan State as defense allowed just 85 net rushing yards . . . recorded five tackles vs. MSU, including two solo stops and three assists and a forced fumble . . . started at strong safety in 42-24 win over Indiana as defense allowed just 79 net rushing yards overall and just three points in the second half . . . recorded two solo tackles and five assists vs. Hoosiers, including a shared tackle for loss . . . had defensive play of the game with an 86-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third period after a pass was deflected and tipped his direction . . . return ranks as fifth longest in school history . . . started at strong safety in 17-10 loss to Northwestern as defense allowed just 10 points and 239 yards total offense . . . recorded two solo tackles and four assists vs. Wildcats . . . also had four punt returns for 16 yards, the first of his career . . . started at strong safety in 27-24 overtime loss at Ohio State . . . recorded three solo tackles and three assists at OSU . . . started at strong safety in 12-0 win over Minnesota as defense allowed just 48 rushing yards and 201 yards total offense . . . recorded two solo tackles, six assists and one pass break-up vs. Gophers . . . started at strong safety in 24-14 Orange Bowl win over Georgia Tech, recording one solo tackle as defense allowed just 12 passing yards and 155 yards total offense.
2008 Honors - - Named Big Ten Top Defensive Freshman by Rivals.com... second team Freshman all-American by Rivals.com . . . third team Freshman all-American by Phil Steele's College Football . . . Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week vs. Penn State . . . 2008 - - Recorded 53 tackles during the season, including 28 solo stops and 25 assists . . . tied for team lead with five interceptions and had six pass break-ups . . . ranked first in the Big Ten and tied for 19th in the nation in interceptions per game (.42) . . . listed as third team strong safety following spring practice . . . saw limited action in 46-3 opening win over Maine as defense allowed just 83 passing yards and 220 yards total offense . . . recorded one pass break-up vs. Maine . . . started at strong safety in 42-0 win over Florida International as defense allowed just 56 rushing yards and 218 yards total offense . . . recorded one solo tackle and three assists vs. FIU in first career start . . . started at strong safety in 17-5 win over Iowa State as defense allowed just 73 rushing yards . . . recorded career-high 10 tackles vs. ISU, including two solo tackles and eight assists . . . also had first career interception in the endzone to stop ISU scoring threat and recorded first career QB sack . . . started at strong safety in 21-20 loss at Pittsburgh, recording five solo tackles and a forced fumble . . . forced fumble came on Pitt's first offensive play and led to Iowa field goal in the first period . . . did not see action in 22-17 loss to Northwestern due to injury . . . started at strong safety in 16-13 loss at Michigan State as defense held second leading rusher in the nation to 91 net rushing yards . . . recorded five tackles vs. MSU, including four solo stops and one assist . . . added 1.5 tackles for loss and two pass break-ups vs. Spartans . . . started at strong safety in 45-9 win at Indiana as defense allowed just 95 rushing yards and 286 yards total offense . . . recorded three tackles vs. the Hoosiers, including two solo stops and one assist, along with two pass break-ups . . . started at strong safety in 38-16 win over Wisconsin . . . recorded one solo tackle and two assists vs. the Badgers . . . started at strong safety in 27-24 loss at Illinois as defense allowed just 60 net rushing yards . . . recorded seven tackles at Illinois, including three solo stops and three assists . . . also recovered fumble in the fourth quarter that led to game-tying touchdown . . . started at strong safety in 24-23 win over third-ranked Penn State, earning Big Ten Conference defensive Player of the Week honors . . . recorded eight tackles vs. Penn State, including four solo stops and four assists . . . had pass interception and 14 yard return in the fourth period to set up Iowa's final, game-winning scoring drive, his second straight game with a fourth quarter turnover that led to key Iowa points . . . started at strong safety in 22-17 win over Purdue as defense allowed just 86 net rushing yards . . . recorded one assisted tackle and one pass break-up vs. Purdue . . . started at strong safety in 55-0 win at Minnesota as defense allowed just seven rushing yards and 134 yards total offense . . . recorded three tackles, including two solo stops and one assist, at Minnesota, along with third pass interception of the season and 58-yard return . . . the interception return of 58 yards ranks as the 11th longest in school history . . . started at strong safety in 31-10 Outback Bowl win over South Carolina . . . recorded four solo tackles vs. South Carolina, along with two pass interceptions and 74 yards in interception returns . . . first interception and 26-yard return led to Iowa's second touchdown and a 14-0 first quarter advantage . . . also had 48-yard interception return in second quarter.
2007 - - Redshirted.
High school honors - - Two-time first team all-state, including Elite all-state selection as a senior . . . three-time first team all-district selection . . . third team all-state as a sophomore . . . team captain . . . three-time academic all-district . . . Career - - recorded 137 career tackles, with eight interceptions . . . also played wide receiver in high school . . . holds or is tied for 28 school records, including rushing yards in a game (324), longest touchdown reception (98 yards), most receptions in a career (100), season (49) and game (nine), most touchdowns in a career (63), season (28) and game (seven), receiving yards in a career (2,141), season (1,008) and game (267), touchdown receptions in a career (22), season (12) and game (three) and total career yards (4,310) . . . career rushing totals include 240 attempts for 2,090 yards and 34 touchdowns.
Personal - - Born 5/27/88 . . . Interdepartmental Studies major . . . four-year member of prep Honor Roll... parents are Barney and Mike Sash . . . high school coach was Darrell Schumacher.
Strengths: Experienced player despite early entry (was a starter since his RS freshman year). Smart player with excellent football instincts. Ballhawk who tallied 13 INTs in just three years. Quick read and react to the action on the field. Strong in run support and will take good angles and deliver a big hit on plays to the edge. Solid tackler who looks for the big hit, but not at the expense of the sure tackle. Solid centerfielder who can keep the action in front of him and close on the ball after reading his keys. Closes well on the ball. Lunchpail player who is also a vocal leader on the field and in the locker room.
Weaknesses: Doesn't possess great athleticism. Has decent speed, but not much in the way of recovery speed. Plays aggressively, but is guilty of overaggressiveness at times and will fall victim to play action, pump fakes, and misdirection. Doesn't shed blocks once he's engaged.
Projection: Looks a lot like former Hawkeye Sean Considine. He's got a shot to be a solid NFL starter, but probably doesn't have the athleticism to be an elite player. Look for him to go anywhere from the 4th-6th rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft."
Sash has good speed and adequate size for the position, although he will need to add some weight when making the transition to the NFL.
His biggest asset as a safety is simply having great instincts and awareness for being in the right position at the right time. Sash is terrific in zone coverage and a more than capable tackler. Like most college safeties, he struggles in man to man coverage and lacks proper technique, but these are things that can be coached up in the NFL. He has a tendency to play downhill and tackles with a reckless abandon at times. Sash must continue to develop some of the finer tackling techniques rather than rely on collision tackling.
Sash's athleticism makes him a candidate to leave early although this year's safety class is very thin and anyone can make a name for themselves overnight.
Tyler Sash projects as a fourth to fifth round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft."
Sash is blessed with soft hands and he anticipates well. This allows him to make plays on the football (11 career interceptions); it’s almost as if he has a sixth sense that tells him where the ball is going. Once he does take possession of the pigskin, the Iowa native is a proven playmaker—he already holds the school’s record for career interception return yardage with 350 (fifth in Big Ten history) after just two seasons in Iowa City. Sash has also proven to be durable; he’s not afraid of contact and quickly emerged as a leader in the Hawkeyes’ secondary. With senior safety Brett Greenwood and junior cornerback Shaun Prater back for 2010, Iowa’s defensive backfield is expected to be among the best in the nation."
Tyler Sash is an Instinctive and cerebral player who puts in the time to study film and prepare for the Enemy.
He is not particularly Fast, nor Physical.
All in all, a decent prospect, but by no means exceptional. He'll probably exceed expectations in the Turn Over category, but disappoint in the Tackle category. Frankly, he looks more like a valued 3rd or 4th Safety than a starter, and while I like the guy, it seems very likely that this remarkably desolate Strong Safety Draft Class is going to drive his Market Value much higher than is truly warranted.
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